With the NBA draft just under a month away, we've reached the beautiful grace period of endless speculation as to what order names will be called come June 20th. On today's Wizards Talk, our panel of experts predicts who will fall to the Wizards at the No. 9 pick.
Max vertical: 34.5 in.
Hayes' story is certainly an unusual one. The son of a 12-year NFL veteran, his first sport was football. Playing professional basketball wasn't in his future until he hit a massive growth spurt in high school, morphing from a 6-foot, 125-pound freshman to 6-10, 200-pound senior.
Considered the best center prospect in the draft, Hayes is an elite athlete with an unrelenting motor. His trademark skill is his rim protection, averaging 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. He can run the floor and plays above the rim. He could be the spark the Wizards need at the center position.
Hayes is a bit of a project, however. He has no outside shot which is problematic in the modern NBA, and his rebounding numbers are poor for someone his size. He averaged on 5.0 rebounds per game and reached double figures only once. If he's going to be a productive player, he'll need to put on some weight to bump those numbers up.
Max vertical: N/A
Bol Bol, son of former NBA player Manute Bol, is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. He hasn't played since December due to a foot injury, so there are durability concerns. The allure comes from his combination of insane measurements and guard skills. Before he got hurt, he led his team in rebounds (9.6) and blocks (2.7) while also shooting an insane 52% from three-point land. Pair him with a healthy (hopefully) John Wall, and they could form a lethal pick-and-pop combination.
Some concerns with Bol have to do with his frame, but take note that he weighed 235 pounds before his foot injury. Once he gets back on the court and moving, he won't be as slender. Best case, this guy is Kristaps Porzingis and worst case, he's Thon Maker. With the lack of guarantees at No. 9 spot, however, the Wizards might want to take a chance on him.
School: North Carolina
Max vertical: 38.5 in.
Nassir Little came into the college season as the sixth highest rank prospect in the country, but his stock dropped as questions were raised about his playing style. Some people think he might not be more than a dunker on the offensive end. There are concerns about his outside shot, as he shot 26.9% from three in college. Pair him with Bradley Beal, however, and some of his deficiencies could be overshadowed by Beal's excellence.
Little is an absolutely tenacious defender, and lord knows the Wizards need it. They finished 27th in defensive rating last season, and he could be the spark plug they need. Take into account the chemistry issues the Wizards dealt with last season, and maybe he's young bull to help change the culture. Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military and he had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC; the kid's head is in the right place.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS:
- Draft Profile: Bol Bol
- Draft Profile: Nassir Little
- Draft Profile: Jaxson Hayes